Categories: News

Ethos and VONT Now Employee Owned

Posted: September 7, 2017

Westbrook, Maine, September 6, 2017 – Ethos, a multiplatform branding and digital agency with 55 employees, announced today that it has established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), joining a growing number of companies in Maine and nationally electing this model for future growth. The ESOP transfers ownership from a closely held LLC partnership to an S-Corporation owned 100% by its employees. The employee owners also include the employees of VONT, LLC, a leading digital marketing agency wholly owned by Ethos. Developed as part of an ongoing strategic planning process, the ESOP was officially introduced to company employees on August 31.

Agency founders Glenn Rudberg, Ted Darling, and Judy Trepal, along with VONT President Tom Gale, will continue day-to-day management of the company, focusing on the agency’s clients and developing the Ethos and VONT teams. Tom Gale has been appointed CEO of the combined entity. The four partners will now serve on the Board of Directors and as officers of the company. William Plumley, a long-time employee, was also appointed to the Board of Directors.

“An employee-owned company was the logical way to reward a team that already thinks and acts like owners,” noted Gale. “Our agency was founded upon the principles of doing right by our clients and by our employees. Moving the company to an employee-owned model allows us to leverage the client-focused culture we have built over the years. The ESOP also ensures the company’s long-term sustainability, retains and attracts top talent, and provides dedicated employees with the rewards of ownership.”

“Today’s employees want to be a part of something. They want a stake in the game,” said founding partner, Glenn Rudberg. “We see a 100% employee-owned company as the best way to reward loyal employees and to motivate the next generation of leaders.”

The Ethos ESOP operates similarly to an employee 401k or profit sharing program. Company shares of stock are held in a trust and allocated to participant (employee) accounts based upon the annual equity value of the company. The difference between an ESOP and other types of Employee Benefit Plans is that stock allocations are made entirely by the company with no additional investment required from employees. Every Ethos and VONT employee is automatically enrolled in the program after completing one year of service following the September 1, 2017 effective date of the ESOP.

About Ethos | VONT

Ethos is a multiplatform branding agency founded in 1999 by a small team of discerning marketing and creative minds who believe in the compelling power of the truth. Today, Ethos develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels for companies inside and outside of Maine. The company’s guiding principle is to uncover every client’s core truth and then set a meaningful marketing course designed to achieve maximum results. In 2007, to position the agency to meet the emerging digital marketing trend, Ethos launched VONT, a digital marketing company dedicated exclusively to web, social media and online marketing channels. Together, Ethos and VONT deliver integrated marketing communications across multiple channels for clients. Services include planning and execution, comprehensive web development and marketing services, advertising, creative concept and design, packaging design, public relations, content and social media marketing, community management, market research, and inbound marketing. Ethos and VONT excel in the fields of natural and specialty foods, agricultural trade commodities, financial services companies, healthcare organizations, higher education, and government and quasi-governmental agencies.

In 2016, Ethos and VONT relocated to a state-of-the-art building located at 17 Ash Street, in Westbrook, overlooking the Presumpscot River. Today, Ethos is 100% owned by the employees of the company. For more information, visit,, or call 207-856-2610.